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GCSE Results 2020 – by Grace Oldman

GCSE Results 2020 – by Grace Oldman

Lockdown has been a rollercoaster for many, myself included. There was a mix of relief and disappointment conflicted inside of me as I left the school grounds for the final time and waved goodbye to many of my friends who I wouldn’t see for months.


This year was meant to be the year I took my GCSEs. A necessary step on the path to my future. Yet me, and many others, were now to be dismissed and forgotten about. Teachers that once pressured us to revise and do our best were silenced by the overarching shadow that Covid had cast upon us.


Of course, at first, celebration broke out. No exams? It was every student’s dream, and I was one of few to be living it. However, after a few days had passed, I was left lifelessly gliding around my home. With no set work or need to do anything, a void had settled in my chest to fill in for what was once exam motivation. Thoughts that all my revision had been for nothing threatened to ruin this façade of joy. My exam results were miles away and the return to normality was even further.


I spent my days binge watching TV shows and YouTube videos, picking up random hobbies and forgetting them a week later. It was an odd frame of time, to which it felt like the world had paused. While my sister was doing zoom lessons in the other room, I was lazing around not even knowing what day it was. From March to April, May, June and now August. My only reminder to the days that passed me by were due to birthdays and Netflix release dates.


And soon enough, I was getting results for an exam I didn’t even sit.


The morning before was when it really hit me. The realisation that it was completely out of my hands. With the stress of the unknown caused by the governments twenty different systems of giving results and constant changes. The horror tales of location-based biases was only one of many worries I felt that day.


I met up with my friends before walking to school, the relief of seeing familiar faces helping me cope as the school buildings towered in front of us.


It’s funny how a single paper envelope can contain so much value. Mine contained hope for the future but also fear that a few letters would be my route downfall.


COVID has impacted the lives of many during this pandemic.


For me and many other students, it had stolen our result day. Although exams are merely some letters on a piece of paper, the inability to impact them is what scared me most. Not knowing how I would’ve done under real circumstances will always make me wonder however, I was lucky to feel proud of what I had got in that small envelope.


While COVID-19 will continue to make changes to day to day life, a sense of routine seems to be returning with school coming back once again. And that’s something that will hopefully help us all, one way or another.


For more information and support with your mental health at school for this new academic year, please visit Place2be and the Access Project UK